A quick update on recent voting intention polls. When I last updated in mid-July, there was a clear trend towards Labour across the polling companies, with YouGov, Opinium, Deltapoll all showing the Conservatives dropping backing significantly in the wake of the Johnson & Davis resignations (whether one attributes that to the Chequers agreement or the resignations it is impossible to say from the evidence given they were so close together. My guess is that it is a combination of the two).

The later polling towards the end of July suggested that movement had flattened out a bit – the last four published polls are below:

YouGov/Times (20th Jul) – CON 38%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 6%
ICM/Guardian (22nd Jul) – CON 40%, LAB 41%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 5%
YouGov/Times (23rd Jul) – CON 38%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6%
Ipsos MORI/Standard (24th Jul) – CON 38%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6%

As you can see, two had Labour a point ahead, the later two had the parties neck-and-neck again. That clear Labour lead we breifly saw appears to have quickly faded again once the media was no longer focusing on Chequers & the resignations. That’s not to say there is no lasting impact at all. Back in May and June polls were showing a consistent Tory lead – that has gone; UKIP appeared dead in the water, but in these latest polls they are still up at 5% or 6%. Finally, and least noticed, polls showing the Lib Dems breaching double figures are increasingly common. There were five of them in July, compared to just one in June and just one in May.

581 Responses to “A quick update on voting intention pols”

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  1. @ BZ – Why would CON want to change a law their MPs overwhelmingly just voted to enact?

    As for WTO:
    “The United Kingdom has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948.”

    I’m guessing you mean something more to do with tariff schedules etc and/or breaking the link to EU schedules, quotas etc. Info on that in the above link. My read of that info suggest that on 24 Oct 2017 (ie 3mths after we posted the info) we could be fully independent of EU with regards to the WTO commitments.

    Of course this may be challenged (hence “could”) and I am aware of some concern that we didn’t submit this earlier as the EU might well be the ones who object (EU Council meeting on 18 Oct and for sure the EC have excellent lawyers and trade experts ready with a big set of spanners to throw into the works, possibly indifferent to collateral damage to Ireland if they did).

    Keen to discuss this aspect further if you like. The Leave trade and legal folks I speak with are prone to “bubble” thoughts (as we all are) so you may have some good input on possible objections by other countries (so far no news is good news in that regard and IMHO the reactivation schedule doesn’t cover the more complicated issue of quotas (reminder that my view on those is that we can solve them unilaterally if the EC are unwilling to negotiate them tri-party with the more tricky countries that have/will object on a fair split of the quotas – the default then being the EU27 stay with the previous EU27+UK full quota – something they should be keen to avoid!).


    Discussing anything with you is the last thing I want to do.

    The re-activation of UK membership is dependant on existing WTO full members, or at least it was at the time of the EU referendum according to the WTO DG.

  3. Charles,

    I’ll go:

    A 30%
    B 40%
    C 20%
    D 10%

  4. BZ

    I agree with you re the UK’s membership of the WTO but my understanding comes from this article in the Monkton Chambers blog in 2016


    In the light of its co-existence with the EU in the WTO, the rights, commitments and concessions of the UK under WTO rules are currently tied in with those of the EU. Following Brexit, the UK will no longer be covered by the common schedules which the EU submitted for all its Member States. The application, therefore, of WTO law on the UK following Brexit will depend on resetting the terms of the British membership in the Organisation. This would be the case across a wide range of economic activities covered by the WTO agreements. The schedules of concessions and commitments on market access, for instance, as well as the UK’s list of exemptions from the MFN treatment obligation would have to be reset and resubmitted. They would also have to be accepted by the other WTO parties.

    If Professor Koutrakos is wrong in his understanding, then I’d be happy for anyone with similar (or better) qualifications and experience to point out his errors.

    For those unsure of who he is, his portfolio is here


  5. @ BZ – that’s a shame but of course your prerogative, I hope you at least read the links from WTO. As someone who worked at the WTO I thought you could offer some useful insight.

    Let’s see if anyone objects to UK “reactivation” before 24 Oct’17.

  6. My link to Jon Thompson’s comments on NI from 29Nov’17 appears not to have posted. I’ll retry without the accompanying blurb.

    The relevant parts start around 10:45am so drag the cursor to there.


  7. Sam,

    Yes I agree May’s negotiation has failed. It’s only a question of how and when she goes.


    Hard to say, but option c) is 0%.

  8. Hal

    “It’s only a question of how and when she goes.”

    It was a good public service from a scheduler at the state broadcaster to rebroadcast the public information series “House of Cards”.

    Younger MPs in the Tory, Labour and LD parties may need that primer on how to use fraud, leaks, blackmail, sex and murder in a leadership process at Westminster.

    On the other hand, many MPs could teach Michael Dobbs a lesson or two in those black arts.

  9. This is about a week old now, so sorry if it it got discussed then and I missed it, but feel it’s worth discussing (even if the conclusion isn’t particularly surprising). Frustrating for me though, I don’t feel too well-represented by either of the main parties, but feel if anything even less well-represented by the centre of electoral opinion.


    A few observations, in no particular order.

    1) The NHS is even more of a sacred cow/national religion than I thought. One wonders what the majority of people would consider enough spending. It would be interesting to see what the comparable figures were like in the Blair years, when you really couldn’t argue that it was underfunded. I suspect even then people would have wanted more. I guess it is heartening that people don’t want to put a price on others’ lives, even though that is exactly what policymakers end up having to do under any healthcare system.
    2) At the general election last year, Jeremy Corbyn had an incredible nose (or some good polling) on where the centre of political gravity is in most cases, but despite his alleged principles compromised – or even caved completely – on the relatively few areas where he disagreed with the majority (notably immigration and benefits). In other words, he offered the electorate what they wanted on pretty much every issue – and still lost. So much for having the best campaign in British political history.
    3) I don’t think you could significantly bring down the “tough on criminals” crowd without reintroducing the death penalty. I know you’re desperate for cheap votes, but please don’t do that, Tories.
    4) One suspects the 30% of people who think benefits are too generous have never tried living on them (or at least, not since 2010). I have never understood the enormous discrepancy in public opinion between the two biggest pillars of the welfare state.
    5) Only 20% of pro-Europeans (or 10% of all voters) believe that neither of the main parties want to stay in the EU. The overlap between these people and Lib Dem voters, also at around 10% in the polls, must be pretty large.
    6) On a related note, there are more people who leavers who think parliament is too remain-y, rather than vice-versa. This despite the government managing to pass some really quite daft, extremely Brexit-y motions that go well beyond merely obeying the instruction of the referendum.
    7) What is “government intervention to encourage housebuilding”? That could be anything from planning reform to investment in social housing, or even some kind of land value tax. Those are policies so different it’s absurd to lump them under the same umbrella.
    8) And the most absurd of all: fully 30% of people think that the current Labour Party is into military interventions. (Well, okay, it is in some circumstances, but the question was specifically about *British* interventions…)

  10. OLDNAT @ BZ

    I can’t locate the original of the Azevedo article from 2016, which was in a trade journal IIRC, but the Grauniad’s article of 2016-05-25 covers much the same ground.

    See WTO head says leaving EU would cost UK consumers £9bn a year.

  11. Trevor

    “Of course this may be challenged (hence “could”)”

    You are out of date.

    Challenges were made to the EU/UK proposals immediately after they were tabled.

  12. Oldnat

    Given the subject I am sure you will be glad to be offered some more reading material.


  13. Sam Coates Times
    Verified account

    4 minutes ago


    YouGov poll

    Tonight at 10pm the http://times.co.uk

  14. Yep, was just going to say – no-one seemed to care about the poll i mentioned earlier which i thought was one of the more interesting polls recently – Yougov aren’t taking a break on their national polls for the summer, one is out at 10pm

  15. Hal

    How – resignation

    When – shortly after Tory conference

  16. Sam

    Grandfathers are wise not to intrude on the mistakes being made by the “parents”. :-)

  17. Con 39 (+1)
    Lab 35 (-3)
    LibD 10 (-)
    UKIP 7 (+1)

  18. YG
    Con 39
    Lab 35
    LD 10
    UKIP 7

  19. Yougov poll:

    Con 39% (+1)
    Lab 35 (-3)
    Lib Dem 10 (-)
    UKIP 7 (+1)

    Best PM:

    TM 36 (+4)
    JC 22 (?)

  20. Looking at recent timings we could be due a BMG and Survation over the next few days.

  21. Difficult to know what to make of that poll. Either it’s just a statistical fluctuation, or the Tories have perfected the art of messing up badly, but always deflecting the disillusionment onto other parties. Something like “the government is doing a bad job because the opposition is rubbish”. Nice trick if you can do it, and after all, that’s how they got rid of the LibDems.

  22. I’ve been busy today, so am only able to comment on the latest page of posts (to everyone’s relief I expect).

    Polltroll (7:29pm)
    “3) I don’t think you could significantly bring down the “tough on criminals” crowd without reintroducing the death penalty. I know you’re desperate for cheap votes, but please don’t do that, Tories.”

    What penalty do you think would be appropriate for someone who beat a baby to death for instance? A few re-education classes?

    “4) One suspects the 30% of people who think benefits are too generous have never tried living on them (or at least, not since 2010). I have never understood the enormous discrepancy in public opinion between the two biggest pillars of the welfare state.”

    It is because there are many people on benefits who defraud the system, or are just too lazy to work for a living, which annoys those who do. This does not mean that I think that there should be no benefits. Perhaps the idea of a ‘citizens wage’ has some legs?
    BazinWales (9:08)
    That was a bit cryptic, especially as the link you gave seems to be to a Timex site.

  23. @colin

    Johnson made a serious point: ‘Is it ok for our society to allow some women to be forced to wear the burka’ – he concluded that (unlike Denmark) here it is ok, even if they are forced, because we accept their right to wear what they want.

    He then made a second serious point about the difficulties he perceived in having a conversation with somebody whose face is covered.

    He then took the p!ss out of muslims.

    Whether he did this because he is a fool who cannot take any issue seriously, or whether he did it as a ‘dog-whistle’ to racists is irrelevant.

    It still acts as a ‘dog-whistle’ to racists.

    It validates racists to ridicule muslims, (if a potential prime minister can have a go at muslims them so can I) and then to go further than ridicule. This will happen I suspect.

    However it will backfire. It gets really difficult for Johnson when a video of a gang of racists shouting ‘letterbox!’ at somebody in the burka goes viral on utube.

    Good to see you still posting here! Does amber still post?

  24. Blairites & Zionists delaying the New Order.

  25. Recent(ish) Reuters report on EU and UK schedules at WTO


    Seven agricultural suppliers – including the United States, Canada and Australia – have already said they disapprove of the terms of the divorce, since they will lose flexibility to switch exports between Britain and the rest of the EU.

    Happy days

  26. ANDY O


    No Amber is long gone-though her Polldrums ( reg. trade mark) is still with us. ( Well not tonight actually :-) )

    Boris ??

    More Bertie Wooster than Benito Mussolini imo.

    But we will see.

  27. New thread

  28. “COLIN
    Blairites & Zionists delaying the New Order.”

    Permanently cancelling it more like I think Colin.

    But I also think “Blairites” are no longer remotely relevant in the new intra-left, multi-factional infighting that is the new model Python/ Palestine sketch version of the Labour Party.

  29. David Colby,
    “: If trade were go to ZERO between the UK and Germany for example, German business would ‘lose’ ca. 75b from exports and ‘gain’ ca. 50b from imports.”

    This is the sort of scenario which needs exploration. Under what circumstances could it happen? It would imply a complete collapse of demand from the UK for German goods (or vice versa). Trade might become more expensive because of leaving the EU, but it will not be banned. So it is not a credible outcome.

    If the economy in either the Uk or Germany became so bad after Brexit that demand did collapse, imagine the sort of civil unrest and protest against brexit which would result. I see no way such an economic collapse could possibly happen in Germany because trade with the Uk is a very small proportion of the whole. But for the UK a general collapse is more credible.

    A more realistic Brexit outcome is increased barriers to trade. Would these be symmetric? I’m guessing not. In a no deal situation the UK would become a third party to the EU, with standard import barriers. If the Uk changes its currently aligned regulations or fails to maintain them, trade difficulties would steadily increase with time. But in the opposite direction, under WTO rules, the UK has said it wants free trade, or leave seem to be arguing they do. This surely implies the UK market will become more open to EU goods than the EU is to UK goods.

    And then there is demand. Does the Uk want German made goods more than Germany wants UK goods? I am guessing yes. Germany has a reputation for up market items, so if we are buying them now, we will continue to want them with limited alternative suppliers. Whereas the Uk does not have this reputation, and Germany is likely to find alternative suppliers inside the EU trade wall. So Germany stops buying from the Uk, while we continue despite added cost.

    If Uk demand for German goods is strong enough, one could imagine a situation where the cost to the Uk of Germany imports actually goes up, while our sales to Germany go down.

  30. “But I also think “Blairites” are no longer remotely relevant in the new intra-left, multi-factional infighting that is the new model Python/ Palestine sketch version of the Labour Party.”


    They’re not very relevant beyond the Labour Party either as Brown and Miliband found out. Though Corbyn will no doubt be relieved at your fanciful idea that Blairites aren’t fostering infighting!

    Maybe it’s time to let go of Blairism Paul, Tories have, Labour have, the public have, even Blair has.

  31. Charles,
    ” I do know that he is tactless with a history of offending a wide variety of people”

    Worked though, to get him elected and widespread support. Isn’t that the point?

    ” They are absolutely not OK in someone who aspires to be prime minister.”

    It is possible a working majority of voters disagrees with you.

    “Personally my guess is that b) is most likely as it suits the EU who won’t want a ‘disorderly Brexit’ and a conservative party who want to paper over the cracks”

    Trevor also questioned what is the purpose of the chequers proposal. Several, I’d say.

    1) It allows more delay
    2) It rehearses all the arguments in public, slowly subverting Brexit by highlighting the problems.
    3) It allows the tories to split into teams and publicly attack different aspects of Brexit. That they are attacking different plans to carry out Brexit allows them to attack Brexit while still claiming to be working for it.

    4) It might actually get accepted
    5) Even if not 4, it could continue as the zombie basis for an alternative to the already agreed irish backstop. I dont see the EU accepting this as any sort of backstop, because it isnt, but if May now signs off a withdrawal agreement with backstop as agreed last year, if this has not totally been shot down, then she will present it as the UK’s alternative which they anticipate will eventually replace the backstop.

    If the tories actually wanted to stop brexit, then one way forward would be to make a wtihdrawal agreement (as already agreed) which effectively prevents the UK leaving the trading arrangements…unless both sides agree. To sell this to voters you need a plan which has at least some credibility, but which cannot actually work. So what May needs is an unworkable solution, dressed up to appear to have potential, and that is what she has got.

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